Born: Adelaide, SA
LANGUAGE GROUP: Gurindji
COMMUNITY: Katherine, NT
Sarrita King is the most collected artist at Kate Owen Gallery and for good reason. Her paintings are highly sophisticated works of beauty. She is always pushing her boundaries and extending her repertoire, creating an artistic oeuvre that is quite remarkable for an artist of her age. Sarrita's aesthetic has a universal appeal, made clear by the phenomenal interest in her work by international collectors.
Sarrita grew up in a family that encouraged creativity and nurtured family connections. Her father was esteemed artist William King Jungala (1966 - 2007), and to this day Sarrita and her equally talented sister, Tarisse King, draw on his knowledge, traditions and philosophies in their art. Her father was also a proud Gurindji man, and Sarrita and her sister also have a strong sense of self and pride in their heritage.
Sarrita's connection to her Aboriginality and subsequently to the land and people, was able to flourish as she grew up in Darwin. Her ancestral Gurindji land was close by and from a young age she was exposed to the imperious weather and extreme landscapes that shaped her forefather's lives. In particular, the big storms, rains and lightning in the far horizion fascinated Sarrita, and was the subject of her first paintings.
Her 'Lightning' series captured the attention of art dealers and before long she was represented by galleries across Australia. Her Gurindji Country continued to be the theme of her art, and Sarrita's early works wove her own styles with that of her father. They are a fascinating interplay of colour, design, heritage and spirit.
In the years that have followed, Sarrita's desire to visually communicate her inspiration and the land has resulted in a suite of painting series that honour her father's philosophies, while providing a visual articulation of the earth's language.
Her representations of landscape are fresh in their depiction of the subject. The lack of horizion takes viewers inside the image, where the subtlety of surfaces, and the shapes and iconography awaken the senses.
Multiple layers in each canvas pulsate with the moods of the country, with the sense of time-worn existence and with the strength of human passion within. She creates fantastic energy on the canvas but there is also a strong rhythm in all her work that is determined and controlled
The 'Ancestors Dry Season' paintings are intricate layers of rich reds, oranges, yellows and ochres to represent the landscape during the intense dry season. During these periods the land is so dry, old landmarks and features are revealed.
The 'Ancestors Wet Season' paintings are painted in cool blues, violets, mauves and white to represent the landscape during the wet season. During these periods the landscape changes drastically with water pooling in parts of the landscape, replenishing the land which is vital to the survival of the Gurindji community.
In a new series titled 'Earth Elements', Sarrita represents the elements and their interaction with the landscape. There is a refined ethereal beauty to these paintings. Her new 'Gurindji Ancestors' artworks also continue her artistic mission to keep her ancestral narrative alive and provides a new way of looking back while looking forward.
Her 'Lake Eyre' series beautifully evokes the seemly endless expanse of the glistening salt pan, which is transformed by desert downpours into a thriving oasis.
As well as her individual artistic achievements, Sarrita continues to collaborate with her sister on large scale paintings and public art projects. Sarrita and Tarisse are always investigating other mediums to utilise in order to express their stories and later in 2021 they will debut their first sculptural works.
Being an artist requires generosity of spirit; a willingness to see, hear, and feel. Sarrita's artistic practice is an act of generosity and engagement. She has created a space to share the beauty of her culture and landscape that has transcended boundaries. Her unique artistic voice has resonated with collectors around the world.
Sarrita is energetic, effervescent and visually curious. Despite being a mother of two young children, she maintains a high level of creative output and generates new ideas regularly. She currently lives in her hometown of Darwin, which has been a wellspring of inspiration over the course of her life. We have delighted in Sarrita's artistic evolution and look forward to what the future holds.
Copyright Kate Owen Gallery March 2021
- Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
- Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Moitiers, Switzerland
Awards and Recognition
2019 Sarrita's and Tarisse's artwork chosen to decorate the BMW flag ship store in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney. Their artwork design has been wrapped around the building.
2017 Artist Artwork selected to be featured on Samsung's The Frame
2014 Pommery Champagne Pop Art Series Labels
2017 Artist Artwork selected to be featured on Samsung's The Frame
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2021 Land + Sky | Impressions of Country, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2016 Artist in Residence, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2014 Artist in Residence, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2014 Sarrita King: Pop Art, Ngarru Gallery, Port Douglas
2013 Artist in residence, Ngarru Gallery, Port Douglas
2011 Connections: First Solo Exhibtion, Gallery 577, Melbourne
Selected Group Exhibitions
2021 Top Ten Artists 2020, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 Sounds of Summer, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2020 60 by 60 - Small Paintings, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2020 Director's Choice 2020, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 Top Ten - Our Most Popular Artists 2019, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Tarisse King & Sarrita King, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2019 defining tradition | black + white, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 International Women's Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Defining Tradition: the first wave & its disciples, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2018 Sarrita and Tarisse King, East Hotel, Canberra
2018 Artist in Residency, Basil Hall Editions, Canberra
2017 Gems from the Stockroom, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2017 Ancestors, Elements, Heritage, Sarrita King & Tarisse King, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
2016 Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong
2015 King Sisters Artist in Residence, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2014 Sarrita & Tarisse King, Japingka Gallery, Freemantle
2014 The King Sisters: Pop Art, Red Desert Dreamings, Melbourne
2013 The King Sisters, Japingka Gallery, Freemantle
2012 Country of Kings, Red Desert Dreamings, Melbourne
2012 Art Expo, Singapore
2012 Collaboration, Gallery 577, Melbourne
2012 Aboriginal Art, Butler Goode Gallery, Sydney
2012 Contemporary Art, Art Curial, Paris
2011 Language of the Earth, Japingka, Fremantle, WA
2011 Big and Bold, Gallery 577, Melbourne
2010 Divas on the Cusp, Art on Hastings, Noosa Heads
2010 Canterbury Art Exhibition, Canterbury
2010 Rising Stars, Tarisse & Sarrita King, Aboriginal Art Galleries, Sydney
2010 The King Sisters, Mason Gallery, Darwin
2010 First Artist in Residence, Newington College, Sydney
2010 In Our Father's Eyes, Aboriginal Dreamtime Gallery, Los Angeles
2010 Fire & Lightning, Central Art, Alice Springs
2010 The King Sisters, Red Desert Dreaming Gallery, Melbourne
2009 Art Curial Auction and Exhibition, Art Curial, France
2009 William, Tarisse & Sarrita King, Aboriginal Art Galleries, Sydney
2009 Kaminabend mit Tarisse & Sarrita, Brit's Art, Uebach-Palenberg
2009 The King Sisters, Blue Gum Gallery, Sydney
2009 The 3 Kings, Bennelong Gallery, Sydney
2009 The Three Kings, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2009 Size Matters, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2008 Canterbury Art Exhibition, Canterbury
2008 The EWB exhibition, 14 exhibitions across Australia
2008 The Kings, Firstlook Gallery, Melbourne
2008 The 3 Kings, Ulladulla Aboriginal Gallery, Sydney
2006 Kings Exhibition, La Jolla
2006 Katherine Art Exhibition, Katherine
2006 Jungarra Exhibition, Cairns
2006 City Mob, Adelaide